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Guide to the Kirk MacGugan Papers, 1941-1996
BANC MSS 97/143 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Chronology
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Kirk MacGugan Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1996
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 97/143 c
    Creator: MacGugan, Kirk
    Extent: Number of containers: 5 cartons, 2 boxes, 2 oversize folders Linear feet: 7.0
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Kirk MacGugan papers, BANC MSS 97/143 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    Title: World Institute on Disability Records,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 99/148 z
    • Additional related collections may be found under the corporate author heading, "Disabled Persons' Independence Movement," in U.C. Berkeley's online catalog.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    • Videotapes/sound recordings have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of The Bancroft Library.
    • Medal and a button have been transferred to the Objects Collection of The Bancroft Library.

    Administrative Information


    The Library is grateful to Mary Lou Breslin for her assistance in preserving and making available Kirk MacGugan's papers.

    Acquisition Information

    The Kirk MacGugan Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by MacGugan's mother, Ellen Wildman, in April 1997, with an addition made in July 1998.


    Funding provided by a research grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitative Research.

    Biographical Chronology

    1939 Born in Kirkville, Missouri on February 9.
    1951 Contracts poliomyelitis.
    1957 Graduates from Artesia High School, Artesia, New Mexico.
    1960-1961 Receives B.A. degree from Baylor University, Waco, Texas.
    1962 Receives M.A. degree from the University of the Americas, Mexico City.
    1963-1966 Teaches sixth and seventh grade and Spanish at Santa Barbara Christian Day School, Santa Barbara, California.
    1966-1968 Lecture coordinator and discussion leader for World Civilization, University of Hawaii.
    1973 Marries Thomas MacGugan, a childhood friend.
    1968-1981 History Instructor, Leeward Community College, Pearl City, Hawaii.
    1977-1981 Handicapped Officer and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 Compliance Officer in Postsecondary Education, Leeward Community College, Pearl City, Hawaii.
    1980 Awarded Ed.D. from Nova University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
    1981 Director, Projects REACH and ASSIST, Mesa College, Mesa, Arizona and Campus ADA Section 504 Coordinator.
      Conference Coordinator: Employment of the Handicapped, Scottsdale, Arizona.
    1982-1983 Executive Director, Phoenix Independent Living Center, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, Phoenix, Arizona.
    1983-1984 Gallery Interpreter, Mesa Museum, Parks and Recreation, City of Mesa, Arizona.
    1985 Enters Ph.D. program, Department of History, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    1987-1988 Client Advocate, Client Assistance Project, Protection and Advocacy System,
    1988-1989 Consultant, Protection and Advocacy System, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    1990 Coordinator, Disabled Students Services Program, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
      Co-coordinator, Self-Determination Grant, Protection and Advocacy System, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    1990-1993 Physical and Environmental Disability Coordinator, California State University, San Francisco.
      Continues research and writing of doctoral dissertation, "An Interpretive History of the American Disability Rights Movement, 1945-1978."
    1992-1993 Member, Board of Directors, Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund, Inc., Berkeley, California.
    1993 Participates in World Institute on Disability tour to Moscow, Russia.
      Dies of breast cancer on December 13.

    Scope and Content

    The Kirk MacGugan Papers, 1941-1996, reflect the life of a disability rights scholar, advocate, and educator, and chronicle her academic career as an historian and professional career as an advocate, administrator, and teacher, as well as her personal life. The bulk of the collection consists of McGugan's prolific writings, along with a small amount of correspondence and personal papers.
    McGugan's writing includes topics ranging from abstract historical philosophy ( The Historical Helix and The Toil Coil), to local history (the history of a bank in Poplar Bluff, Missouri), to disability rights heroes (Frank Bowe and Howard Rusk), Native American issues, and disability rights law. She often developed subjects discovered in the course of her academic or professional pursuits into published works.
    Although she used a wheelchair since contracting poliomyelitis at the age of eleven, MacGugan pursued her education to the doctoral level, despite the discrimination that barred her way to libraries and opportunities for scholarly travel, scholarships, and fellowships. Much of her coursework, thesis, and a culminating project from her studies at the University of the Americas in Mexico City and Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is included in the collection. Also present is a near-final draft of her dissertation, "A History of the Disability Rights Movement, 1945-1978," and notes from her research done at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where she had nearly completed her Ph.D. when she died in 1993. Of particular interest to scholars of disability rights history are the copies of federal records MacGugan gathered from the President's Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, from the 1940s through the 1970s.
    Correspondence from MacGugan's professional career is also present, from her early years as a history instructor at Leeward Community College in Pearl City, Hawaii, to her consulting and advocacy work in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico, and includes her work for Albuquerque Protection and Advocacy, the New Mexico State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute. Of note is her report and plan for student services for American Indians with disabilities for the Institute. In addition to some administrative records from her position as Physical and Environmental Disability Coordinator at California State University, San Francisco, the collection also includes syllabi, notes, and research materials for classes in the History and Women's Studies Departments, which she began teaching upon her arrival in 1990.
    Among MacGugan's personal papers are biographical materials, awards, poetry and prose, and a number of personal journals, which include her dreams, short stories, travelogues, reading notes, and diary entries. A few photographs, newclippings about MacGugan, and posthumous tributes round out the picture of MacGugan as a teacher, historian, and an active advocate for persons with disabilities.